CTV NEWS, TORONTO – A hundred years ago, a small wound could result in death if an infection spread. That could become reality again as the world threatens to return to a pre-antibiotic era due to antibiotic resistance.

Some have pointed to the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock feed as a culprit, resulting in urgent calls to quell their use and find alternatives.

“Right now we have this huge crisis that we are not developing new antibiotics and yet we have growing resistance to antibiotics,” said Bob Hancock, professor and director of the centre for microbial diseases and immunity research at the University of British Columbia.

The simple explanation, he said, is that the more antibiotics are used, the more likely it is for resistance to grow.

“The bottom line is that if we don’t do something new, then we’ll end up in the pre-antibiotic era where the most intensive medical procedures will be really difficult,” said Hancock. “It is a potential medical disaster.”

One Canadian company says it has a solution that can help keep farm animals healthy and thriving without the use of antibiotics.

Ottawa-based Avivagen (TSX:VIV) has created OxC-beta, a natural alternative to antibiotics in animal feed using beta-carotene – the same carotenoid that gives carrots their vivid orange hue.

Read the full article by Aleksandra Sagan on CTV News.